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What To Do During A Weekend In Connecticut

While most people don’t venture to Connecticut for a vacation as such, many readers might find themselves stopping off there for a few days during a long US trip. So, it seemed like a good idea to offer an insight into the New England state and some tips and tricks about what to do while you’re there. It’s a beautiful place with lots of attractions that are guaranteed to keep everyone entertained. You’ll encounter cliche New England weather and welcoming faces at every turn. With that in mind, use this guide to ensure you don’t overlook anything significant.

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Finding the best accommodation

There are thousands of hotels and places to stay in Connecticut, and so you just need to use a booking app on your smartphone to find the best deals. The Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Airport is always a top choice for people who need to rest their head as soon as they arrive. However, most of the hotels in the state meet high standards, and so you just need to read some reviews to sort the wheat from the chaff. Just bear in mind that Connecticut is a large place, and so you’ll probably want to hire a car if you arrived via a plane. While there is excellent public transport available, getting from A to B is much easier when you have a vehicle to use.

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Finding the best food

It’s always sensible to ask the staff at your hotel for local restaurant recommendations because Connecticut has some fantastic eateries. The issue is that most of them are dotted around different parts of the state. That is why some local knowledge is going to come in handy. There are also lots of street food vendors around during the evening time if you spend a few hours near districts with lots of pubs and bars. Just make sure you don’t overlook places like The Capital Grille, Millwright’s, and ON20. You’ll also want to stop off at one of the many cafes each morning to get a full American breakfast.

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Finding something to occupy your time

When it comes to attractions, Connecticut has much more than most people think, and it’s budget-friendly. For that reason, it’s always wise to perform some online research before you plan to arrive. However, the following list of places should point you in the right direction:

  • The Mystic Seaport
  • The Mystic Aquarium
  • Gillette Castle State Park
  • Mark Twain House
  • Lake Compounce
  • Submarine Force Library and Museum
  • Beardsley Zoo
  • Connecticut Science Center

 

Now you know how to have a brilliant time in Connecticut, nothing should stand in your way. As mentioned at the start of this post, it’s not the most popular vacation destination in the world, but it does offer a rare insight into New England culture and history. So, if you have interest in the way our country came into being, or even if you just want a relaxing few days away from the grind, Connecticut is an excellent choice. Just make sure you take a camera because you’re going to encounter many photograph opportunities!

 

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My Bucket List of Things To Do In Colorado

 

I have been to several parts of the US but I have not visited Colorado yet. Colorado is one of the places I want to visit someday. If there is one thing in my  travel bucket list that I am most excited about, that is to have the opportunity to stay in any of the Colorado vacation rentals like those fancy chalets or log cabins in any of the famous ski resorts in Colorado. I will tell you why. Read on.

The state of Colorado is a mountainous region. It is part of the Western and Southern United States, and the Mountain States.

Colorado boasts so many majestic slopes that are perfect for winter activities. It is home to many rich and famous celebrities and prominent figures in society. And I am not surprised why. Colorado just screams opulent living, scenic winter vistas, beautiful ski resorts, and winter activities that will tingle your spine! And because of that, I created my own bucket list of things to do in Colorado.

 

Do Ice-climbing in Ouray Ice Park

The Ouray Ice Park is a man-made climbing attraction in a natural gorge in Ouray, Colorado.  If you are an avid ice climber then this place is a great recreational destination for you. I have not tried any ice climbing in my life, let alone rock-climbing but I added this place in my bucket list because I want the challenge. Maybe you need that kind of challenge too!

 

Check out the rock formations in the Garden of the Gods

A lot may not know this (unless you live in Colorado) but Colorado has an interesting and diverse geography.  Some parts are mountainous, while others have arid plains and deserts, big sand dunes, plenty of lakes and rivers, lush forests, and interesting rock formations like the ones you will find in the Garden of the Gods.

I enjoy looking at nature. While I may not be the best camper out there, I am willing to let go of my fussiness to be able to view this natural beauty with my own eyes. I have seen numerous photos of this natural park but I know, seeing the rock formation in person will still be a good choice than settling for photos in the magazines or travel sites.

The rock formations in the Garden of the Gods are sedimentary red, pink, and white sandstones, limestones, and conglomerate formations left in the park by the natural uplift of the Rocky Mountains, and Pike Peaks massif movements.

There is one very famous rock formation in the park that is worthy of a great photo-op – the Balanced Rock which is a fountain formation.

I want to see this particular one and a photo-op standing next to it will be the cherry on top of the icing in my Gardens of the Gods visit.

Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org

 

Experience a weekend in any of the luxurious villas, log cabins or chalets in any ski resort

I am a budget traveler. I try to stick to a rigid budget as much as I can but once in a while, I do splurge. Staying in any of the luxurious villas, log cabins or chalets in any of the ski resort in Colorado is definitely in my bucket list.

I would prefer a lodging for us with a panoramic window so I can see the view outside right away. Nothing beats the beauty of nature’s charm.

Photo credit: https://www.luxuryretreats.com/

 

I have seen plenty of photos of vacation rentals in Colorado, especially the ones at the mountain areas. I just love the idea of waking up in the middle of a lush vegetation with a view of the snow-capped mountain to complete my morning.

I also love winter time. I want to feel how it is to sit by the fireplace and sip a hot chocolate to cap my relaxation. And of course, a weekend in any of these types of accommodation with my family will be a perfect getaway for us.

 

Learn how to ski

I am not an extreme sports kind of person but every now and then, there is a dream that I want to fulfill and that is to learn how to ski. I am terrified of speed so a beginner’s lesson will suffice. I just want to be able to enjoy the snow’s powdery texture against my ski while I glide on a less challenging terrain in one of the many ski resorts in Colorado.

Colorado has plenty of ski resorts for the family to visit and enjoy. Vail is one of the famous ski resorts in the whole of Colorado. Many famous celebrities spend some of their quality time here to be away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Aside from being the magnet of the rich and famous, it is also known as the biggest mountain resort in the world. It is not as high as other mountain resorts but it boasts of good snowfall that will never disappoint the avid skier. It is also home to some of the best terrains in Colorado so you can expect an exhilarating ski experience whether you are a beginner or a skiing pro.

Another famous ski resort worthy of your time is the Breckenridge . It has well-groomed runs through the trees. It also has high alpine bowls that you can access with a ski lift. This place will make the advanced skier thrilled because of its elevation. There are also nice restaurants at the base of Peak 7 where you can dine after a long ski adventure.

 

Visit the Mesa Verde National Park

Photo credit: https://www.nps.gov

 

I have a thing for history. I like checking out ruins, and the Mesa Verde National Park is teeming with interesting finds like the Cliff Palace, the Balcony, Spruce Dwelling, and the Long House. All these are just few of the more than hundreds of cliff dwellings in the Mesa Verde National Park in Montezuma County, Colorado.

The Mesa Verde National Park has been named as one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites due to its exceptional archaeological finds. You can drive through the park on certain period too.

 

There are many more things to do in my bucket list for Colorado. These are the top of the activities I want to fulfill while I am able. Do you have a bucket list too?

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Review – Tuscany Suites and Casino in Las Vegas

 

The last time we were in Las Vegas was 2009. My family and my hubby’s cousin and family stayed in Excalibur Hotel which is situated near the famous MGM Hotel. And after 8 years, here we are again and this time with my dear Auntie.

My husband arranged for this short trip and he booked us in Tuscany Suites and Casino near The Strip. It is reminiscent from those beautiful villas in some Italian village with fine stucco finish. The Tuscany Suites and Casino is exactly that, a beautiful big villa with clusters of other sleeping quarters in a compound.

 

What I like:

The room we have booked is a Junior Suite. The room was very spacious with two full double beds. It is huge!

The big room has a sofa or seating quarters, and a kitchenette with a decent dining table and chairs.

(I took this photo standing from the edge of the bed and the room is really huge!)

 

The sofa doubled as a sleeping bed for my husband.

The welcome note on the TV screen. Not all hotels we have booked in the past, even the most new and modern had welcome notes as you enter.

The beds are super comfortable. I slept like a baby!

Our room has a nice view. I can see the winding alley that leads to other sleeping quarters, the main hotel building, and the pool area.

 

It is a quite hotel.

There are ice vending machines in our floor.

There is an in-house casino.

There is a restaurant, a coffee shop and even a souvenir shop inside the hotel.

There are ample parking spaces for visitors and they are free.

The location is great and there are plenty of souvenir shops nearby.  The Strip is also walking distance from the hotel if you feel like walking.

Free wifi, and fast connection too.

It is very near McCarran Airport.

The food in the Tuscany Gardens restaurant is really good!

The bathroom is clean. The bathroom is very spacious, and the toilet is enclosed. The bathroom basin is huge too. I could wash my clothes there. Just kidding but all in all, everything is just spacious!

 

The lobby area and the beautiful passage between sleeping blocks. 

 

What I don’t like:

 

The main hotel and different from the Casino entrance although they are connected. You have to park near the main entrance of the hotel so you don’t have to walk much  towards the concierge, especially if you have luggages. We didn’t realize there were 2 main entrances so we parked in the entrance which was the Casino entrance. We had to carry our luggages back to the car and drive of to the other parking area nearest to the main hotel’s lobby.

There are several building blocks for sleeping quarters. You have to walk outside to reach the main hotel. It’s not a long walk though and passing by the nice alley behind several sleeping quarters is really not that cumbersome. I just thought it would be nice to just have all the sleeping quarters in one area. But hey, this is just my opinion. The whole compound where the Tuscany Suites and Casino is really a quiet and relaxing one.

And before I forget, it didn’t appeal to me that they don’t have any microwave so we could heat our food.

 

Nearby attractions:

Howard Hughes Center
The Bellagio
LINQ Promenade
Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
The Monorail the plies around the Strip
Outlet malls nearby

 

My recommendation: 4 out of 5

I would have given this beautiful, clean, and homey hotel if it wasn’t for the main hotel’s entrance confusion, I would be happy to give this hotel my five star rating.

I highly recommend this property if you are heading to Las Vegas and you want a quiet place to relax, and still have a good time when you want to. The location is perfect for us. You can walk or take a drive to the Strip if you like because it is just around the corner from this hotel.

 

The Tuscany Suites and Casino is located at 255 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89169, United States of America.

If you’re looking for hotels in Las Vegas or in other parts of Nevada, you may find more hotels and fabulous deals too from:

Booking.com

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The 2 Sides of Hoover Dam

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Did you know that Hoover Dam is between Arizona and Nevada? Yes it is. I only came to know when we visited few days ago. All I know is that Hoover Dam is a very famous landmark in Boulder City, Nevada. It was built around 1931 and completed 5 years later.  After visiting the famous attraction, I learned that the Hoover Dam spans from one end of Nevada and the other end of Arizona.

 

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(The Hoover Dam from the Arizona side and behind is the Memorial Bridge)

 

We drove from our hotel in Las Vegas to Hoover Dam. The drive was approximately 45 minutes without any congestion. We even got lost and drove all the way to Arizona and had to turn back to reach the road towards the entry of the Hoover Dam gate.

 

We crossed the Hoover Dam and parked our car on the Arizona side. The view was spectacular! We walked towards the sign board that indicated that we were in Arizona already. The road uphill after the state sign has more views of Hoover Dam and the surroundings. And I find them very beautiful despite of the very hot and humid weather that day.

riatravelbug_Arizona_side_hoover_dam

 

The water was a bit low when we visited but there were still some small sailboats sailing by beyond the buoys. We took some pictures from the upper road that has a balcony ledge on the side of the dam. After that, we went back to the car and drove to the other side, which is the Nevada side and parked in the car park.

Hoover_Dam_Arizona_Side_riatravelbug

 

If you are visiting the Hoover Dam for the first time, it has a small restaurant and a merchandise/souvenir shop near the entrance, and car park. Few meters away from the shop is the Spillway House which was originally built in 1987. It was rebuilt last 2013 and has been set to house events for a beautiful vista of the Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead. All these are in the Nevada side of the dam.

 

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I just wished that the weather was not very extreme as there was a heatwave at the time of our visit. We weren’t able to cross the Memorial Bridge.

I don’t recall every paying for entrance when we entered and cross the Hoover Dam. The only fee we paid for was the parking.

 

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(This is in the Nevada side as you enter The Hoover Dam)

 

This is a perfect place to visit when you are already in The Strip in Las Vegas due to its proximity. You can either join a tour organized by your hotel or pre-booked with a tour operator of your choice. You may also drive there on your own if you don’t want to follow a rigid timing and want to explore at your own pace. You can check the web for directions on how to get there coming from The Strip of anywhere in the US if you are driving. However, consider traffic and weather conditions too when visiting. We could have stayed longer if it wasn’t from the high temperature. It is still a very memorable experience!

Address: Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, NV 89156

 

 

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Fancy Getting Wet And Wild In Florida?

Posted in beaches, holidays, travel, travel tips, US
on September 5, 2017

Thousands of people choose Florida as the ideal destination for a beach holiday each year. And, with hundreds of miles of beaches and famously good weather, it’s easy to see why. If you’re after white sand and blue sea, this destination won’t disappoint.

But, it would be doing Florida a disservice to assume that the water filled fun stops there. In truth, this destination offers a lot more than that for those who are after a wet and wild holiday. In fact, a little research will reveal that Florida has some amazing water related activities to try out. To give you an idea, we’re going to look at a few of them here.



Aquatica, Orlando

Flickr Image

 

We couldn’t write this without mentioning water parks. In all honesty, you’ll be spoilt for choice here. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that there are endless water parks in this destination. Would we expect any less?

But, today we’re going to focus on Aquatica, Seaworld Orlando’s water park. To see why this was the best pick for this list, you only have to look at rides such as the Dolphin Plunge. Not only do you get the thrill of a fast paced water slide. You also get to glide through the enclosure of the park’s Commerson’s Dolphins. These creatures are playful by nature, and will often dart along with you. So, you get the water park fun, and the experience of underwater life to boot!



Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Sarasota

In keeping with the marine theme, you could head to Sarasota’s Mote Marine Lab, host to an incredible 135,000-gallon shark habitat. Here, you can witness ongoing research which is sure to give you a real in-depth perspective. Plus, you can book up to enjoy fun activities, such as a shark encounter, or even your own breakfast with sharks. With amazing accommodation like the Regency Inn & Suites only 15 minutes away, there’s no excuse not to pay this place a visit. For keen marine enthusiasts, it’s an absolute must.


Neptune Memorial Reef, Key Biscayne

Wikimedia Image

 

For something a little more unexpected,  head to the Neptune Memorial Reef in Key Biscayne. This art piece, designed by Florida local Kim Brandell, is an underwater world unlike any other. This piece is a Neptune Society sponsored cemetery and forms a natural reef underwater. Swimming around the 16-acre site may chill your bones a little, but it’s something you won’t forget in a hurry. If you’ve always wanted to see a city underwater, now is your chance.



Venetian Pool, Coral Gables

Flickr Image

 

Your water filled stay wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the world’s largest freshwater swimming pool. The Venetian Pool is the only pool listed in the National Historic Register, and was formed out of a coral rock quarry in 1924. This amazing spectacle has a natural filter system which refills the pool daily. As well as being an amazing sight to see, a swim here is sure to be one for your history books.

 

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Beyond Orlando: Non-Theme Park Attractions In Florida

Posted in travel, travel guide, travel ideas, travel tips, US, US trip, USA
on July 31, 2017

Families and young people usually love traveling to Florida for one big reason; the theme parks in Orlando. Whether it’s Disney World or Harry Potter World, Orlando is a global attraction for fans of all ages. But there is more to Florida than thrilling rides and taking selfies with your favorite characters. Of course, there is nothing wrong with going to Florida purely to spend a few days in Universal Studios, or any of the other theme parks, but it would be a shame to miss out on all it has to offer.

 

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Hang out in the resort

It might seem a bit redundant to go somewhere new and just hand out in the resort, but sometimes staying in a resort is a vacation in and of itself. A resort differs from a hotel in that it attempts to provide for most of its guests’ needs on its premises; check out Resorts & Lodges to see what they can offer for your break from reality. Resorts typically not only offer lodging but also food, drink, sports, entertainment, and shopping onsite. There are many different types of resorts, from spa, golf, and ski resorts, to luxury and all-inclusive facilities. This is perfect if your aim is just to relax and recharge, but if you want to explore the sights, you’ll have to leave the premises.

Explore shipwrecks

If you want to venture off the beaten path, you can’t venture much further than America’s most remote and least visited National Park, Dry Tortugas. Juan Ponce de Leon first stumbled upon this stretch of islands in 1513. It served as a shipping point soon after, but it was also the site of hundreds of shipwrecks. Fort Jefferson was built on the site in 1800, but it was abandoned in 1874, and was registered by President Roosevelt as a National Park in 1935. The park can only be reached by boat or seaplane, but the wrecks are magnificent sites to see while snorkeling.

Kennedy Space Centre

Whether you’re a history or science buff, or you used to dream of going to space when you were a kid, the Kennedy Space Centre is worth visiting while you’re in Florida. The Centre is around 140,000 acres, but fortunately you are taken on a tour by bus. You could even get tickets for the scheduled rocket launches if you want to experience that first hand. Who knows, maybe if you bring your kids with you they’ll be inspired to become an astronaut.

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Duval Street, Key West

Duval Street, found at the end of the Key West islands, is best known for its Caribbean charms and beautifully renovated buildings. With bars and pubs lining the streets, music of all genres spills out onto the sidewalk, inviting you to come on in and kick up your heels. Be sure to stop at the Green Parrot Bar, a legendary dive bar which has been drawing in crowds since it opened in the late 1890s.

What will you discover in Florida?

 

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Southern Texas Hidden Beauty Spots

Texas conjures up many stereotypical images such as cowboys and cattle ranches.  Texas has some truly hidden beauty spots across the state. When thinking of Texas you don’t think of sandy beaches, however, the south of Texas have warm temperatures allowing plenty of outdoor activity opportunities. The best way to travel along the southern coast is region to region spotting the natural beauty of Texas. South Texas lies roughly south of San Antonio and to the east of the Gulf Of Mexico.

With it’s gorgeous in climate weather and beautiful beaches.South Padre Island is a major beauty spot of Southern Texas, the unspoiled beaches at Isla Blanca Park are a mile long and a rarity on the island. The sands are crisp white and the waters are pure blue something that looks featured in a holiday brochure.  If you’re a big camper the preserve is best to pitch a tent for the night.

 

Image Source: Wikimedia

 

Rio Grande Valley region is idealistic for outdoor enthusiasts. Falcon Lake is classed as one of the best lakes in the country. Fishing is a hot spot around the lake, the guarantee of a catch is imminent with catfish and bass inhabiting the lake.

Image Source: Wikimedia

 

Big Bend National Park is a must see, just over 800 thousand acres one of the biggest parks in the US. For a quieter serene trail explore the winding valley. This wonderful trail separates the US and Mexico. Surrounded by rivers and 1,000ft cliffs. The water can be 2ft deep in shallow waters able to paddle.

Image Source: Wikimedia

 

Get the most out of your trip,is important, highlighting why it’s best to prioritize the must sees of any trip and to make the most. Planning on where to go and figuring out if you wish to go region to region or stay in one particular place. Research what  type of trip you wish to take be it natural or full on with outdoor activities,

Finding the perfect place to rest on your travels is easy, Fiesta Inn Hotel in McAllen,Texas offer up plenty of things to see and do in the local area for you to explore and discover. Located nearby is plenty of culture and history. This part of your trip visits the International Museum Of Art and Science a large collection of Mexican arts and crafts in the country.

Image Source: Pexels

San Antonio is a natural hot spot, perfect for nature lovers. Full of unspoiled natural beauty the attraction is popular for the Spanish colonial building which is full of history too. The area is gorgeous and built up of four areas; Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan and Espada. At the end of this gorgeous wonder is the San Antonio National Historical Park.

One of the most popular outdoor activities for visiting tourists is Birding. The warm weather has brought in a vast amount of species other the recent years. Birding facilities have now opened up plenty of centers to educate visitors on the species.Rio Grande Valley has the world birding center which homes wildlife refuges as well as nature trails.

When visiting Southern Texas enjoy the warm weather when exploring and making new memories. A host of exciting adventures awaits whether it’s exploring new activities to try or relaxing on a beach break. Southern Texas is a must see for travelers.

 

 

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